tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN December 15, 2015 4:45pm-7:01pm EST
income close to $100,000 a year. so it might make sense for you to drop your small business coverage and go shop at healthcare.gov as a family and see if you can get a better price. >> we will go to the line for democrats. rick in new baltimore, michigan. >> caller: good morning. >> morning, rick. >> caller: good morning, mr. wayne. >> morning. >> caller: i think the future of the affordable care act will be brighter and brighter as time moves on. especially if hillary clinton is elected president and we get a democrat majority in the house and senate. to where hillary clinton can get some stuff done. i also,ñ think a break should b given enlightenment from
somebody if she's elected. >> let's talk about what hillary clinton has proposed she would like to change about the affordable care act. has she put any details out there about what she would do differently? >> yeah. not a lot. i think she has criticized drug prices lately. this is sort of an issue separate from the affordable care act but drug companies have been raising prices for their medicines by quite a lot over the last couple years. hillary clinton has seized on this as an issue in her campaign. she says she would do something to try to control drug costs. i think she's also proposed sort of creating an additional credit under the affordable care act to help pay for deductibles. so people with these large deductible plans might be eligible under a hillary clinton administration for some kind of tax credit to help offset that cost. but the specifics really haven't been fleshed out. >> we go to nashville, tennessee, richard, independent. we are talking about the
affordable care act. you're on the air. >> caller: good morning. kudos to the gentleman before this last caller, he pretty much stole my thunder. i will say this. i work for a unionized company, a retail union. we have a group plan. our insurance for the last eight years under both contracts has cost us money. we now pay more than we have ever paid and we are 80/20 ppo with blue cross blue shield, changed to a 70/30, they came back and renegotiated, the union worked with them. now when you go to a doctor, you can get certain things free but say you go for a colonoscopy and when you go to that specialist and you go in, they find out something. then they take care of the issue so five years later, you go b k back -- but if you didn't have an issue, then you will get that next colonoscopy free.
so everything as far as deductibles per specialist, precision, has changed to where the average person whether you're in a group plan or your own plan, i have been on beth sid both sides of the spectrum, health care is about commission to salesmen. there's independent salesmen and captive agents in the insurance industry. you put out the money and you will be able to control health care costs but until you don't take care of these commissions that these sales people in the insurance industry are making, you will never be able to afford health care. one other thing and i will close. when you look around your communities, when you are driving home, i want you to notice, i predict in ten years, emergency rooms of hospitals will be closed down because you see urgent care places, more doctors are doing in-house surgery, out-patient surgery, urgent care, clinics everywhere. emergency rooms will be closed down within the next decade. thank you. have a good day. >> there was a real interesting
study by this agency called the institute of medicine which studies health care issues in the country. they looked at health care costs in the united states. we spend, well, as of last year, we spent $3 trillion total on health care in this country. it's an astronomical figure. this agency institute of medicine looked at this number and tried to figure out how much was actually valuable, how much of that spending actually went to something good. they found that $700 billion of it was what they described as waste. including overhead and administration for doctors and hospitals, drug companies and everybody else in the health care industry who as this caller notes, profits from providing health care to americans. >> kevin in leesburg, virginia, democrat. you're next. >> caller: thanks for taking my call. so you may have made a good segue to what i want to say. i want to ask a question, then i'll try to answer it and hopefully you can add to it. what requires the creation of
these highly contorted, highly complex solutions for health care? someone talk a second about single payer. let's talk about the numbers. according to i think it's the oecd, the u.s. pays the oecd the u.s. pays the highest per capita for health care amongst major countries. >> we're third to norway and another country, but, yeah, roughly, you're right. >> then amongst all those major countries our performance, the health outcomes for people are middling and at the lower end of the spectrum amongst major countries. >> that's right. that's right. >> caller: so why, you know -- the drug and health insurance industries are holding our heads under water, so that's my answer to my question. they're necessitating us creating very highly complex solutions when there's an easy answer. single payer is the answer. where there's already enough money in the system.
they've been doing health care analytics for a long time. there's enough money in the system, it's just spread out. if we can consolidate the money and deliver health care more efficiently and bring the cost down, i think that the inefficiencies and the profit could be -- you know, this could be removed from the system and used to extend health care to many more people, so i think that, you know, pay attention, like, think about who the real -- i'm going to use this in quotes but who's the real enemy here. >> okay. kevin. >> the caller's right. a lot of the cost in the u.s. health care system is because it's so fragmented and because it's largely a for-profit system. the problem with single payer to make that change you would have to go through an even more wrenching process than the affordable care act. it would be huge changes in the united states of america to implement a single payer system. what's interesting the state of vermont back in 2014 when the affordable care act was created
they said, you know, we'd rather have a single payer system in our state. it's one of the most liberal states in the country. there was a carve-out in the affordable care act to create a single payer system in their state. the only requirement -- they would get a bunch of money from the federal government and the only requirement is they would have to cover as many people as the affordable care act covers. the state of vermont has abandoned that plan because of the wrenching changes it would require including large tax increases to replace basically the money that now is going to insurance companies. you'd have to raise taxes to send money to the state to provide this single payer plan instead of employing insurance companies. >> alex wayne has been our guest. white house editor for bloomberg news. of course, you can go to bloomberg.com for more of their reporting there on the affordable care act. thank you very much for your time this morning. appreciate it. >> we've been keeping our eye here on the university of minnesota in minneapolis waiting
for hillary clinton to speak. running more than an hour behind schedule and since then the u.s. house has gaveled out on our companion network on c-span and we'll continue to wait for hillary clinton's remarks but they'll now appear over on c-span. and, again, here at the time university of minnesota in minneapolis waiting for remarks by -- 3:45 p.m. eastern time.
since then the u.s. house has gaveled out onpanion network c-span and we'll bring you her remarks as soon as they start on c-span. c-span takes you on the road to the white house. best access to the candidates at town hall meetings, speeches, rallies and meet-and-greets. we're taking your comments on twitter, facebook and by phone and always every campaign event we cover is available on our website cspan.org. all persons having business before the honorable the supreme court of the united states are admonished to draw near and give their attention. >> monday on c-span's "landmark cases, "we'll look at the case on one of the most divisive issues to come before the supreme court abortion. >> roe v. wade was decided in
january 1973. it is a case that is controversial that is constantly under scrutiny. and there is a question i suppose whether it ever will cease to be under scrutiny. >> wanting to terminate an unwanted pregnancy but unable to because of a texas state law banning abortion unmarried dallas carnival worker agreed to be the plaintiff in a 1970 case challenging that law requesting she remain anonymous the lawsuit listed her as jane roe and the defendant charged with enforcing the ban was dallas county district attorney henry wade. while she had the baby and put it up for adoption, her case made it all the way to the supreme court. >> jane roe the pregnant woman had gone to several dallas physicians seeking an abortion
but had been refused care base of the texas law. she filed suit on behalf of herself and all those women who have in the past at that present time or in the future would seek termination of a pregnancy. >> we'll discuss the court's decision in roe v wade its impact then and clowe with clarke forsythe senior council with americans united for life and author of "abuse of discretion, the inside story of roe v wade." and melissa murray professor of university of california berkeley law school and a former law clerk. that's live monday night at 9:00 eastern, on c-span, c-span3 and c-span radio and for background on each case while you watch order your copy of the landmark cases companion book. it's available for $8.95 plus shipping at cspan.org/landmarkcases.
the senate armed services committee held a hearing recently on military effectiveness with testimony from retired air force and navy senior officers suggesting ways to improve structure, efficiency and output of the u.s. armed forces. >> well, good morning. 6 committee meets today to continue our series of hearings on defense reform. we've reviewed the effects of the goldwater/nichols reforms on our management and personnel system and our past few hearings have considered what most view as the essence of goldwater/nichols and the rules and responsibilities of the secretary of defense and the joint chiefs of staffs and the combatant commanders. this morning we seek to understand how goldwater/nichols has improved the effectiveness of u.s. military operations.
we're pleased to welcome our distinguished panel of witnesses who will offer insights from their many years of experience and distinguished service. general norton schwartz former chief of staff of the air force and present and ceo of business executives for national security. admiral james stabritis former commander u.s. european command and u.s. southern command and currently the dean of the fletcher school of law and diplomacy at tufts university and frequent appearance on various liberal media outlets. dr. christopher lam, deputy director of the institute for national strategic studies at the national defense university. more than anything else, the goldwater/nichols act was a result of escalating concern in the congress and the country about the effectiveness of u.s. military operations. the vietnam war, the failure of the hostage rescue in mission in irans and flawed invasion of grev made da pointed to
weaknesses that needed to be addressed for the sake of our war fighters and national security. in particular it focused on ensuring the unity of command and improving the ability of our forces to operate jointly. as we've explored in previous hearings, many questions remain about the balance our military is striking between core military competitiveness, competencies and joint experience, but as it relates to combat effectiveness there's no doubt as one former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff put it, no other nation can match our ability to combine forces on the battlefield and fight jointly. the subject of today's hearing relates directly to the many steps goldwater/nichols took to improve the unity of command. the law made unified commanders explicitly responsible to the president and the secretary of defense for the performance of missions and preparedness of their commands and it removed the joint chiefs of staff from the operational chain of command and prevent the services from
moving forces in and out of regional commands without approval. geographic cat battant commanders were given authoritative directive and internal chains of commands and personnel within their assigned area of responsibility. these steps were effective in establishing clear lines of command authority and responsibilities that translated to a more effective fighting force than we had in the 1980s. however, 30 years later, we have to take a hard look at this command structure in light of current threats and how our model of war fighting has evolved. the united states confronts the most diverse and complex array of crises since the end of world war ii, from rising competitors like china, powers like russia, the growing asymmetric capabilities of nations ranging from iran to north korea, the persistent of radical islamic extremism and the emergence of new domains of warfare such as
space and cyberspace. these threats cut across the structure as embodied by geographic combat and commands. we must ask whether the current structure best enables us to succeed in the strategic environment of the 21st century. should we consider an alternative structure that are organized less around geography than transregional and functional missions. at the same time, as numerous witnesses have observed, while combat and commands were originally envisioned as the war fighting arm of the military, the department of defense, that function has largely migrated to joint task forces especially on an ad hoc basis in response to emerging contingencies. this suggests that people have identified a short-coming in the current design and have adopted measures to work around the system as we see quite often. this should inform our efforts to reevaluate and reimagine the
combat and commands. at the same time combat and commands have come to play a very important peacetime diplomatic function. to these developments arguing for changes in the structure of combat and commands? at a minimum it would call into question the top-heavy and bloated staff structures that we see in the combat and commands. time and again during these hearings, we have heard how dramatic increases in civilian and military staffs have persisted even as resources available for war fighting functions are increasingly strained. as former undersecretary of defense for policy michele flournoy pointed out earlier this week, combat and command staffs have grown to 38,000 people. that is nearly three divisions worth of staff in just the combat and commands alone. we have to ask if this is truly necessary and whether it is improving our war fighting capabilities. at the same time we have to
examine whether they are duplicative functions in the joint staff, combat and commands and subordinate commands that can be streamlined. that questions the include of whether we really need all of the current combat and commands. for example, do we really need a northcom and a southcom. do we really need a separate africom ed quartered in germany when the vast majority of resources residence in ucom. as we have to revisit the role of the chairman and the members of the joint chief of staff, goldwater/nichols strengthened the commanders at the expense of the servicemen. has it gone too far or not far enough. former secretary of defense rob gert gates raised this issue when he testified before this committee because of his frustration with the military service's lack of responsiveness to current operational requirements. many of our witnesses have discussed whether the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff has
sufficient statutory authority to perform the integration that the department of defense all too often seems to do poorly, integrating priorities, efforts and resources across regions, across domains of military activity and across time. balancing short-term and long-term requirements. the question has been raised whether the chairman should be placed in the chain of command with the service chiefs and combat and commanders reporting to him. we've heard testimony in favor and against. i look forward to exploring this further today. these are critical questions about our defense organization that have direct bearing on the effectiveness of u.s. military operations and as a consequence on the well-being of our war fighters. we owe it to them to look at this seriously, ask the tough questions, challenge old assumptions and embrace new solutions if and when it's needed. i thank our witnesses, again, and look forward to their
testimony. senator reid? >> well, thank you very much, mr. chairman. let me join you in welcoming the witnesses. i've had the privilege really of working with general schwartz, admiral and dr. lam your service in the defense department now as an analyst and academic are deeply appreciated. thank you very much, gentlemen, for joining us today. as the chairman has said, we've undertaken a rigorous under his direction review of the goldwater/nichols and we heard just a few days ago from secretary of defense -- former secretary of defense michele flournoy about one of the issues and that was in her words over the years the qdr has become a bottom-up exercise that includes hundreds of participants that consumes many man-hours rather than a topdown leadership that allocates risk. one of the things i would hope the witnesses would talk about with the whole planning process, the formal process and the
informal process and how we can improve that, that's just one of the items. there's a long and i think important list of topics that we could discuss. the role and authorities assigned to the chairm. of the joint chiefs of staff and whether the chairman should be placed in the command of the military operations improving the capabilities through possible structural forms for combat and command's field activities and the benefits of adopting organizational changes to achieve efficiencies and provide senior civilian and military leaders with more impactful and timely recommendations. and finally in previous hearings some of our witnesses have ri t rightly observed that enhancing the effectiveness of our military operations and better capitalizing upon the gains achieved through those improvements may require significant changes to our interagency national security structure and process eses as w
and this was made by jim locker, the godfather if you will of the goldwater/nichols. in his words no matter how well you transform the department of defense it will still be troubled by an interagency system that is quite broken and the problems that face us require an inner agency response. in these days we do not have the ability to integrate the expertise and capacities of all the government agencies that are necessary. i think it's important to keep that in mind and the chairman, again, let me commend him for beginning this process with this committee with the department of defense and i hope it's a catalyst under his leadership for serious review by other committees and other agencies about how together we can improve the security of the united states. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. welcome, general schwartz. >> thanks, chairman mccain and ranking member reed and the
committee's commitment for improving dod's internal governance and defense organizations shaped by the goldwater/nichols reforms. it's an unexpected privilege to return to this hearing room and offer a few related ideas on how to improve performance within the department of defense, and it is a special pleasure to sit beside the finest flag officer of my generation. while there are many issues that warrant attention, command arrangements, resource allocation, acquisition processes, overhead reduction, joint credentialing of military personnel and the potential for consolidation among others. i wish to focus this morning on the three that i am persuaded hold the greatest promise for particularly positive outcomes. they are the role and authority of the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, right sizing the combat and commands and
establishing standing joint task forces for execution of co-com operational missions. i'm certainly prepared to address the other matters you mentioned at your discretion. in my experience as a former member of the joint chiefs of staff and the joint staff, the functional combat and commander and the chief of service, i have come to the conclusion that the chairman's informal role in supervising the combat and commanders and the jcs is insufficient for the demands of our times. while it is true that delegated authority from the secretary of defense is an alternative, there should be no doubt in the armed forces about the directive authority of the chairman. subject to the close and continuing scrutiny and oversight of the secretary of defense. strategic guidance for force employment, force allocation
trade-offs between combat and commands and establishing strategic priorities for the armed forces should not be the result of bureaucratic negotiation. or the exquisite application of personal persuasion. but rather the product of strategic leadership. this capacity is constrained by the chairman's inability to exercise executive authority on behalf of the secretary of defense and the remedy i suggest is to place the chairman in the line of supervision between the secretary and his or her combat and commanders. the nine combat and commands are complex entities, none of which are alike. some with regional responsibilities and some with functional roles. the command strive to serve both peacetime, crisis response, and war fighting obligations.
the composition of the combat and command staffs clearly reflect the inherent tension in this excessively broad mission arr array. peacetime administration, deterren deterrence, training and partner engagement versus maintaining the capacity to conduct complex contingency operations in peace and in war. the proliferation of resource directorates, j-8s, joint intelligence centers, j-2s, security assistance program offices, typically j-4s, partner engage entities typically j-9s and operations and training staffs j-3s is the result of this expansive assigned mission set. and over time the war fighting role of the combat and commands has evolved to the almost
exclusive use, some would suggest excessive use, of joint task forces up to and including four star-led joint task forces to execute assigned missions. the simple question in my mind is -- can a combat and command no matter how well tailored perform each and every associated task with equal competence? i don't think so. and the attempt to infuse greater interagency heft into the combat and commands has in my experience detracted from the core operational focus in either peacetime or in conflict. how have we squared the tension between combat and command's peacetime and wartime roles? i would argue by, again, extensive use of joint task force organizations to execute operational missions. it is my conviction that the efficacy of the task force
employment model is beyond dispute. the national counterterrorism joint task force demonstrates conclusively in my mind the enduring value of standing mature, well trained and equipped joint task forces. it may well be that high performance parallels exist for national joint task forces in the surface, maritime and air domains as well. what we should continue, however, or what i should say we should discontinue on the proliferation of joint task forces in each combat and command with the attendant service components and headquarter staffs. task force 510 in the pacific command might qualify, however, as an exception to the rule. in short, mr. chairman, we need
to have within the armed forces a strategic leader who can exercise executive authority. we need to aggressively tailor combat and command headquarters, compositioned to its core mission or missions and refrain from creating subordinate joint task forces out of service headquarters. and finally, we need to drive toward employment of long-term, highly proficient national joint task forces for combat and command employment. thank you, chairman mccain, ranking member reed and members of the committee for your attention this morning. i trust my presentation will assist in advancing the noble cause of goldwater/nichols reform. thank you, sir. >> admiral? >> chairman mccain, ranking member reed, other distinguished members, pleasure to be back with you, and to be here with
general schwartz who was not only a service chief but a combat and commander as well as being director of the joint staff. there's no one who can talk more coherently to these issues as him and as well my friend dr. chris lam who can best address the questions of planning and strategy that senator reed raised a moment ago. i spent 37 years in uniform. i spent probably a decade of that in the pentagon. i wish i had been at sea during those years, but in that time i managed to serve on the staff of the secretary of defense, the secretary of the navy, the chief of naval operations, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. so, i've sort of seen inside the building. and as senator mccain mentioned, i was twice a combat and commander. once in europe and once in southern command, latin america and the caribbean. so, i'm going to simply walk into four or five ideas that i
think might be interesting for this committee to discuss and debate. none of these are fully firmed ideas, but i think they relate to the objective of what the committee i think very correctly seeks to do as we sit here kind of three decades after goldwater/nichols. and they all relate in one way or another to how the department is organized. so, i'm going to start with one that i think is controversial but ought to be considered. and that is do we need a cyber force. for the united states. i'd invite you to think about where we were 100 years ago. we had an army. a navy. and a marine corps. did we have an air force? of course, not. we barely flew airplanes 100 years ago. i would argue today, it feels like that moment a few years after the beach at kitty hawk. and my thought is clearly we need a cyber command. and i think we're moving in that direction. but i think it's time to think
about whether we want to accelerate that process because our vulnerabilities in the cyber domain in my view are extraordinary. and we are ill prepared for them. and, therefore, some part of our response will have to be done by the department of defense. and the sooner we have not only a cyber command but in my view a cyber force small, capable, i think we would be well served. i think we should have that discussion. secondly, to the question of the interagency and the power of how to bring those parts of the government together. i think an interesting organizational change to consider would be at each of the regional combat and commands to have a deputy who is a u.s. ambassador or perhaps some other senior diplomat. i think you would need to
continue to have a military deputy in order to conduct military operations. but a great deal of what combat and commands do is diplomatic in nature. and i think having a senior representative from the inner agency present would be salutary. this has been tried at southcom, ucom and africom at one time or not and i think it would be an effective and interesting idea to consider as you look at the combat and commands. thirdly, and the chairman mentioned this, in my view geographically we have too many combat and commands. we have six today. i think we should seriously consider merging northcom and southcom and merging ucom and africom. i think there are obvious efficiencies in doing so. i think there are operational additional benefits that derive,
and i think finally, it is a way to begin reducing what has correctly been identified as the bloat in the operational combat and command staffs. fourth. i would associate myself with general schwartz and a number of others who have testified with the idea that we should consider an independent general staff and strengthening the role of the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. frankly in practice as a combat and commander i would very typically call the chairman, check signals with the chairman. i would not undertake a radical departure without talking to the chairman. i think putting the chairman in the chain of command as general schwartz has outlined and a number of other witnesses has mentioned is efficient, sensible and frankly codifies what is in
effect today in many ways. in addition, i think that chairman would be well served with what some have termed a general staff. this is the idea of taking midgrade military officers of extraordinary promise and pulling them from their services and more or less permanently assigning them to this general staff. this model has been used in other points by other nations in history. i think it is a powerful way to create efficiencies and avoid duplication. because by doing so you can reduce a great deal of what happens in the combat and commands today. so, in addition to strengthening the position of the chairman, i think it would be worth considering whether a general staff model would make sense. fifth and finally, i think that
we talk a great deal, appropriately, about joint operations. it's important to remember that joint education is extraordinarily important in both ultimately the conduct of operations, the creation of strategy, the intellectual content of our services. so, i would advocate considering whether we should integrate our joint educational institutions probably by taking the national defense university, putting it back to three-star rank, and giving that officer directive authority over the nation's war colleges. this would also create a reservoir of intellectual capability which i think could match up well with the idea of a general staff. all five of those ideas are controversial. but i think they should be part
of the conversation that this committee is unpackaging, which is one that is deeply important for the nation's security. thank you. >> thank you, admiral. dr. lam? >> senator mccain, senator reed, and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to share my views on proving the effectiveness of military operations this morning. your invitation to testify is a great honor and especially so considering the distinguished service of your other witnesses today. it's the high point of my career to be sitting with them today and in front of you, and i'm really truly humbled by the opportunity. also want to acknowledge the presence of my wife who in light of the unconventional things i'm about to say decided i needed moral support and i agree with her. >> we will hold her in no way responsible. >> she'll appreciate that, i know. in my written statement i argued for three sets of organizational
changes to increase the effectiveness of u.s. military operations. first, to correct a persistent lack of preparedness for irregular threats, i argue that we should give u.s. southcom the lead for small irregular conflict and the marine corps for larger irregular conflicts. second, to make the best possible investments of military capabilities and maintain our advantages in major combat operations, i believe we should encourage the use of horizontal teams in the department of defense and support their work with collaborative management of joint scenarios, operating concepts, data, methods of analysis, risk metrics and institutional knowledge. and i completely agree with general schwartz that we need to reinvigorate our approach to joint headquarters so that we have standing task forces ready to experiment with and test new joint concepts. and then finally to better integrate military operations with other instruments of national power i believe we need
legislation that allows the president to allow leaders to run inner agency teams. none of these recommendations are unique to me and they've all been made before by various groups and individuals, but i hope now is an opportune time to reconsider their merits. in the brief time remaining i would like to address some likely questions about these recommendations particularly with respect to horizontal or sometimes referred to as cross functional teams because i know that members of the committee have expressed some interest in that. and so i want to raise a number of questions that are likely to come up in this area. first of all, it's often asked whether all national security problems aren't inherently complex and, therefore, require cross functional teams. my response to that would be no. it was famously arguerd the most important judgment a statements and commander has to make is determining, quote, the kind of war upon which they are
embarking neither mistaking it for nor trying to turn it into something that is alien to its nature. i think the same thing holds true for national security problems more generally. we need to determine the kind of problem being addressed. not all military tasks are intrinsically joint. not all national security missions are intrinsically inner agency. if we say otherwise, we greatly increase the risk of failing to bring the right type of expertise to bear on the problem at hand. another question that frequently arises is whether all groups with representatives from functional organizations are in effect cross functional teams. no. there's a huge difference between a committee and a team in the executive branch. the members of a committee, to use some shorthand, typically give priority to protecting their parent organization's equities and the members of a cross functional team give priority to the team mission. so, why do some groups work like
teams and some groups work like committees? for example, why don't all executive branch cross functional groups work as well as, say, an army battalion headquarters which also has to integrate functional expertise from the artillery, the infantry, armor, et cetera. well, i think the answer is the difference is the degree of autonomy exercised by the functional organizations and the degree of oversight exercised by their common authority. in a battalion headquarters all the participants share a cross-cutting culture and have the obligation to follow legal orders and receive direct and ongoing supervision from the battalion commanders. quite different cultures, different legal authorities and obligations and no supervision from the only person in the system with the authority to direct their behavior. the president. another question often raised is whether we don't already have in
effect good inner agency teams with empowered leaders, for example, the state department's country teams. ambassadors after all have been given chief of mission authority by the president. well, first of all, there are notable exceptions to that authority to the ambassador particularly with respect to military and covert operations, but in any case the ambassador's authority is not sufficient. many ambassadors are perceived as representing state's interests rather than national interests. hence the country team members often field justified in working around the ambassador and the direct supervision of the president is so far removed that many of the people on the country teams feel that they can do that and actually be rewarded by their parent organizations for doing so. i will stop there but i want to close by anticipating one final reaction to the proposals for horizontal teams. some will invariably complain that this is all rather complicated and that at the end
of the day we are better off just finding and appointing good leaders. this is an understandable but dangerous simplification. first as jim locker likes to say there is no need to choose between good leaders and good organizations. we need both. horizontal teams cannot be employed to good effect without supportive and attentive leaders. but neither can senior leaders of functional organizations solve complex problems without organizations that are engineered to support cross-cutting teams. second, in the current environment, titular leaders simply lack the time to supervise every or even the most important cross-cutting problems. neither is it sufficient to simply insist that their subordinates, quote, get along. the head of functional organizes have an obligation to represent their organization's perspectives and expertise. this obligation reinforced by
bureaucratic norms and human nature ensures that group members with diverse expertise will clash. conflicting views are healthy, but they must be productively resolved in a way that gives priority to mission success and not less noble factors. finally, i would dare to say that the intense focus on leadership particularly in this town has always struck me as rather un-american. our founding fathers realized the american people needed more than good leadership, they paid great attention to organizing the government so that it would work well or work well enough even if it's not always led by saints and savants. we should do the same with respect to the department of defense and the national security system. right now i don't believe the men and women who go in harm's way for our collective security are backed up by the best possible policies, strategy, planning and decision making system. that can and should change and i'm glad the committee is looking in to this matter.
thank you, again, for this opportunity to share some results of our research at national defense university. i look forward to answering any questions you might have. >> thank you very much, doctor. let's start out with a fairly easy one. is there a reason why we should have a northcom and a southcom? and is there a reason for us to have an africom that is based in germany right next to your old command, admiral? let me start out with the fairly -- and may i add on to that question. isn't there now a need as much as we're trying to reduce and streamline isn't there now a need for a cyber command given the nature of that threat. begin with you, general. >> sir, the original thinking on northcom was concern about having assigned forces to a senior officer with responsibility for the u.s., the
domestic circumstances. that notion foreclosed at the time the possibility of having a joint command for both north and south america. it is time now with the passage of time to consolidate both of those organizations as the admiral suggested. the rationale for africom was somewhat different. as you'll recall there is actually an effort to place africom on the african continent. that -- >> that didn't turn out too well. >> it did not. but you can appreciate how that thought process sort of preempted other considerations at the time. and -- but, again, with the passage of time, that is a good way to -- that is an act of
consolidation that certainly makes sense to me. and with respect to cybercom, yes. once they have assigned forces, it is time to establish cybercom as an independent co-com. >> admiral? >> sir, i think we absolutely should merge northcom and southcom. not only for the efficiencies, but i think there's cultural connections that are important to get canada and mexico, two of the largest economies in the americas, into the flow with our work and our world to the south. predictably there will be some objections based on norad. i think that can be easily handled with a subunified command in some way. africom was a good experiment, but i think it's time to admit merging it back together the forces as you said are all in europe. and i think those connections between europe and africa actually would be very positive
and in some sense well received in the african world. and then cybercommand i've already addressed. i think it's absolutely time to do it. the real question we should be considering do we want to go one step further to a cyber force. >> that is really important. thank you. doctor? >> i wouldn't have strong feelings on the span of the control we assigned to the combat and commands. but i would make the following observation i think that decision is probably best linked to other recommendations that have been made here today, including whether we increase and beef up our ability to field joint task forces, standing joint task forces, whether we have a general staff or we have the chairman in the chain of command. i think that would impact a lot the effective span of control that combat and commanders could exercise. >> thank you. and this whole issue of the joint task forces i think is one of the most important aspects of it obviously since there's now a
gap between the organizations in being and the appointment in every crisis of a joint task force, whether it comes from that command or from others, it's obvious that that's where the operations are. finally in a more philosophical plane here, one of the much criticized but yet pretty successful staff structure has been the german general staff. names like schflen an and leudendorf and kiedel and others and every time we start talking about centralizing authority in the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, that issue is raised. the german general staff system is not something that we want to emulate and yet there are others
who say that it wasn't because of the staff system that they lost. it was for other reasons. so, give me more of a fundamental view of do you want to centralize this much power in the hands of one individual? or authority in the hands this one individual. general? >> mr. chairman, i would not create a general staff. i actually believe that there is risk of having the brilliant few become self-serving. however, it isn't necessary that a chairman in the chain of command connect to a general staff. by retaining a similar arrangement as we have now where the joint staff is a creature of the joint chiefs, you minimize concern about a rogue individual.
>> i would at least have a robust discussion about the pros and cons of a general staff. in addition to placing the chairman atop it operationally. in terms of the concerns raised about the german general staff, you know, that rattles old ghosts in our memories. but at the end of the day it was political leadership and economic collapse in germany that led to the rise of fascism. the german general staff was perhaps a tool of that. i think here in the united states the culture in the military is so strongly one of subservience to civilian leadership that i would not believe that to be a significant concern when weighed against the efficiencies that could be derived from such a structure. >> i would just second what the admiral said about there not being a threat to civilian
control of the military from a general staff. but i do think it's worthwhile for the committee to take up an issue that michele flournoy raised about the tyranny of consensus. the joint staff is well known for its extensive coordination to ensure consensus on the positions that are forwarded to the chairman. i think it would be very interesting to hear from former chairman and the current chairman what they think of their staffs' performance in that regard and for the committee to get to the heart of why consensus tends to rule in the way the joint staff operates and runs. i think it's not served us particularly well or the chairmen particularly well to date. >> well, i just would finally make a comment, and that is being a student of world war ii, they didn't have any all of stuff. there were brilliant guys named marshall and leahy and others that won the most seminal war probably of modern time, so maybe we -- i don't know how we
look at that aspect of it, but it certainly was the factor -- the major factor in winning world war ii. senator reed? >> i thank, mr. chairman, and thank you, general, for your very, very thoughtful testimony. two issues are emerging among many. one is putting the chairman in the chain of command and, two, creating a general staff. and there are pros and cons as the admiral pointed out and since you gentlemen are some of the most intellectually honest that i know. we get the pros a lot. what's the con? what you worry about, general, if we had a chairman in the chain of command, this is the -- if we did it, we'd have to create sort of a buffer against those downsides, so both of you and the admiral, please, and dr. lamb. >> the traditional thinking of having the chairman in the chain
of command is potentials for abuse, for excessive exercise of one's authority. and undermining as chris lamb mentioned the fundamental principle of civilian authority. that's the downside. and -- but i believe that -- and given my experience -- the chairman and the secretary operate so closely in today's environment that there is a level of supervision which mitigates that possibility. but that is -- that's a legitimate consideration. >> let me follow-up question. even in the -- your concept of putting the chairman in the chain, he would still be supportive of the secretary of defense. >> of course, exactly, correct. >> so, what the practical effect would be injecting him between the service chiefs and the service secretary? what is the practical effect? >> the practical effect is that
there is an authoritative referee in uniform at the moment that authoritative referee is either the deputy secretary or the secretary, and it seems to me that having someone in uniform with executive authority properly supervised contributes to effective activity. >> admiral, your points on both these issues, the general staff, standalone general staff and the chairman in the chain. >> sir, let me take the chairman position first. we've identified one of the cons. i'll give you another one. it's having put that much power and authority into one person, what if you get an extremely mediocre chairman, someone who's not smart, not effective? we have a very good up-and-out system. we're probably going to get a very good chairman. but that -- that level of power
and authority you need to worry not only about abuse of power but lack of capability in it as well. in terms of the general staff, i think a con would be that a general staff, because the officers would have been plucked out of their services at the 04, 05 level in their late 30s, they wouldn't have the robust level of operational experience that we see on the joint staff today. that would be a con. again, my intuition that in both cases the pros would outweigh the cons but that would be part of the conversations looking at both sides. >> dr. lamb, your comments. >> well, first, with respect to the chairman in the chain of command, i think that i would agree with general schwartz that in the past the relationship between the chairman and the secretary has been extremely tight. so, i'm not sure what the value added inserting someone formally into the chain of command is. there are issues there as some
chairmen and secretary teams have worked very closely and the secretaries' interests and decisions have been passed to the chairmen, and in other cases you can think of secretaries who have dealt directly with the combat and commanders at length. so, i think i would be kind of agnostic on that but generally inclined to believe there's not a lot of value added to that. the more important decisions i think the chairman needs to work on are future force development. this is where we really have to work hard to preserve the qualitative advantages that we currently enjoy and i think that most people agree are diminishing. and there to get to the issue of the general staff, i think he needs really dedicated, deep expertise on his staff. and currently we tend not to have that. we bring people directly in from operational commands who have never worked those broad issues before. we throw them at a problem for a couple years and then rotate them out.
my view would be that more stability on the general -- like a general staff would bring to the chairman would probably be a good thing on the whole. >> thank you very much. thank you for your service and for your testimony. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you, gentlemen, for joining us here today. it's nice to hear your interesting comments. admiral and dr. lamb, if you would, please, in 2009 in relation to the dod former dod secretary bob gates said, this is a department that principally plans for war. it's not organized to wage war, and that's what i'm trying to fix. again, that was from bob gates. and from both of you, please, do you believe that it can be fixed within the department? and if so, if you could share your thoughts on that. yes, please, general, go ahead. >> i agree that the model for employment, once again, i would try to re-emphasize my earlier point, that we have migrated
perhaps more by chance than by design, but that joint task forces are the way we operate today. and it seems to me that professionalizing those entities in the same way that we have grown the special operations national joint task force is the model for the future. and the other operating domains. >> thank you. >> i agree with general schwartz as a general proposition. i think we should make the point that the department of defense today operates very effectively in a number of venues. but we could be better and more efficient if we had a model like general schwartz is suggesting in my view. >> i really appreciate the question. i am personally fascinated by
secretary gates and his tenure as secretary of defense. i think he's a remarkable man and he's been very candid in his memoirs about the experience he had leading the department of defense at a time of war. and i've looked at what he had to say very carefully, and i think it's interesting. and what really seemed to frustrate him was that even though we had troops on the battlefield in contact with the enemy, the service chiefs were called to their, you know, statutory obligation to raise, train, equip the forces of the future and he couldn't get enough capability in the field for the problem we were currently trying to master. this was a source of great frustration to the secretary, and i think it underlays the comment that you just quoted him on. but for me the problem there was in part our lack of preparedness for irregular warfare. the services whether we are talking about preparing for future irregular conflicts or
we're engaged in them currently have always given priority to what they consider their core responsibility of fighting and winning the nation's large-scale force-on-force conflicts. we've never been very good at being prepared for irregular war and i think that's true over the last 60 years. so i think we do need some changes there. but for me the solution there is to put someone definitively in charge of being prepared for irregular conflict. that's something we haven't done. we always turn to all the services and say you're all equally responsible for being prepared for irregular conflict and they invariably consider a lesser included case so we don't go to those conflicts thinking about them, planning for them, prepared for them with a niche capabilities, et cetera. i think that's what frustrated the secretary and i think it can be and should be fixed. >> there were a lot of provocative comments the secretary has made, and that is good because now we are spending the time talking about some of those reforms and thoughts that
he had in regards to irregular warfare, a symmetsymmetrical wai wasn't aware of it until about 15 years ago when we started looking at our force. how can we empower the combat and commanders to take that prudent risk and make those decisions on their own? do we empower them to do that or how can we empower them to do that? any thoughts? or does it need to be a top-down approach? why can't it be a more bottom-up approach in taking some of those risks? general? >> i think thoughtful combat and commanders like the admiral did exactly that. however, it is important to assign missions and to distinguish what the priorities are. that is a function of this -- of the pentagon and this town. and we haven't been terribly good at that.
>> we have not. uh-huh. thank you, general. agreed. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you all of you for your service, and i'm going to direct these to the general and the admiral. you know, it's -- i'm so appreciate of you all coming and so candid with us and tell us exactly what you've seen and what your experience. the hard thing i'm having -- i'm having a hard time with why either you cannot make these changes when you're in that command, when you're on the front line, when you're in charge. is the system bogged down where we're throwing so much stuff at you from here to the intermediaries coming to us but also how do we keep the separation of the civilian oversight as we do, which is unbelievable, and i'm glad we do, and that's the concern we might have, the balance. but, you know, when you have the 2010 report by mckenzie and company found that less than 25%
or one-quarter of active duty troops were in combat roles with the majority instead performing overhead activities. if you look at it from the standpoint of all the pay increases, we're giving the same pay increases to 75% of the people who don't see any action. and are you all -- i think we need to know from you now in your role, not -- not being constrained in your remarks, how do we -- how do -- you know, how do we get to where you're able to make the decision when you're in charge and in power? they're saying they can't be made, the military can't change. only under the goldwater act that we had way back when, only we can force it from here. but yet we've thrown so many regulations and so many oversights it makes it impossible to govern. where is the intermediate -- who makes the decision? is there a commission should be in place? and then for those who are concerned about giving total
power to a joint chief -- the joint chiefs and the chairman still having the civilians in control and advisory capacity, i don't know how to circumnavigate this. and the i know that we're talking about north com and south com. i would ask about national reserves. i was a former governor. i was over my guard. and i would have gladly shared with the president and if the only reason we have the reserves doing what they're doing and the guard doing what they're doing is because of separation of oversight, doesn't make any sense to me. we can save a tremendous amount and use our guards and reserves in a much more effective role and much more cost effective. but i don't see that happening either. so whoever wants to chime in, please do. >> thank you.
first on the question. i actually believe that you chairman hopefully are a capable individual directive authority would change the dynamic in what you're saying. >> right now you're saying that person doesn't have that. >> at the moment he does not have that. he can encourage, persuade, but can't compel. and that is not a businesslike approach to the problem. secondly with regard to the guard and reserves, it is at least in part a function of statutory authority as you're aware as a former governor and others here . which is responsive to the service leadership and the guard of course is a little more complex arrangement.
at least the ar my from a preference for maintaining both of those entities because access to the reserve is cleaner and more expeditious in most cases than it is in some cases with the guard. >> admiral? >> a couple of thoughts, sir. you do touch on, i think, an important aspect of all this which is reforming pay, benefits. i think those authorities derive from all of you here on capitol hill based on proposals that can come. and i think you're spot on to look at why do we pay in '03 essentially the same amount of money. it really is in my view ripe for a new look. you can drive it from here. but i think in the building, they have the authority to build that into proposals and move it
forward. i hope you spur them to do it. in terms of authorities to really make changes, i think providing more authority to go into government and move civilians that have been there. just simple authorities over the g.s. system i think would be helpful in creating efficiencies. in terms of the guard and reserve, to the degree the committee wants to really lick your finger, reach up and touch the third rail, you can look at an alternative in the -- coast guard resides as you all know in the department of homeland security. it's a very different model. if you want to look at efficiencies and structures, that might be an interesting model to look at as to whether it pertains in the air and on the land as it seems to work
quite effectively in my view at sea. so these are huge questions in terms of do you need a commission. i would say what this committee is doing right now is the basis of driving these thoughts forward and i hope you continue at this. >> thank you, sir. senator fisher. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, recently a friend and i have been having discussions on a 1984 speech by casper weinberger which became known as the weinberger doctrine. and the third rule he laid out would be that military forces should only be committed after the military and political objectives have been clearly defined. there's been criticism lately because of recent campaigns that we've seen in afghanistan and syria and criticisms that
perhaps we haven't seen that end result, that end state really clearly defined. i think in future conflicts especially when we look at the cyber area, it's going to be difficult. it's going to be a challenge there to be able to define what's ahead. i guess i would like to hear from all of you if you believe these evolving trends are going to change at how we look at laying out those objectives in the future. and are we going to be able to look at a comprehensive strategy, a comprehensive plan for the future. or are we going to have to look at it more incrementally as we move forward and what are the risks that would be involved with that. if i could start with you, general.
>> as i see it, ma'am, the role of civilian leadership is to decide the why and the where. and the role of the uniforms is to offer advice on the how. both are essential ingredients of success. and the desire for clarity in the why and the where is important to those who serve in uniform. without a doubt. i think the clear thing here is that there is a need for understanding that these are
complex circumstances. but it is important for there to be support for the mission and if i may offer an unsolicited piece of advice, the absence of a use of military force in the current setting is less than ideal. >> i agree with general schwartz. clearly idealy, the ideal structure would be crisp clear direction from the political level. coherent strategy that's been explained to the american people. has a reasonable amount of support in our democracy. then the military conduct this detailed planning which really is the precision piece of this going forward. how to make that, make that link more effective. i think a lot of what we're
discussing today would be helpful in that regard. and the degree to which that our military can be given that kind of strategic clarity will be the degree to which we're successful in our engagements overseas. >> so would you both say that that is a rule that we as members of the senate should continue to require to limit risk even into a future where the nature of warfare may change? >> yes. >> and doctor, if you had comments, please. >> yes. one of the jobs i had on the pentagon was helping prepare the contingency planning guidance and overseeing the nation's war planes under the secretary of defense for policy. and one of my observations was that the operational plans were crystal clear compared to the
strategic guidance that we often are able to promulgate. i know some of your prooechbs witnesses have talked about strategy from the point of view of the need for more gray matter, greater strategists, better strategists, et cetera. my view is a little bit different. i think there are political and bureaucratic forces at work that work against strategy. you asked why don't we have a clear center of gravity, why don't we martial our resources against that center of gravity. i think the answer is twofold. first of all, in formulating a strategy with that kind of clarity, right now there are great political and bureaucratic disincentives for that. so if you say there are three ways to attack this problem and we're going to choose door "b," so to speak, someone will always criticize you for not having taken option "a" or option "c." so the safer thing to do is to say we're going to do all those
things. and in the war on terrorism we're going to emphasize strategic communications. we're going to go after the terrorists themselves. we're going to dissuade state sponsors and on and on. if you look at all our public strategy documents, they're just long laundry lists of objectives. and you don't have that clarity. then when it comes to implementing the strategy, you similarly have bureaucratic forces at play. i am firmly convinced after a year of study that a lot of popular opinion about what went wrong in iraq is, in fact, wrong. because of the point we just made about formulating a strategy, if you have real strategy it exists not on paper but in the mind of key decision makers. because they can't promulgate the strategy for the reasons i mentioned. it's in their minds. if you're going to get a clear cohesive implementation of the strategy, everybody has to be working together and have a mind meld, if you will.
that did not happen in iraq. and we could go into detail on why that did not happen, but the point is we had people in one part of our national security system working very hard to go in one direction and then people on the ground in baghdad supported by other people trying to go in another direction. and the results were not good. when it comes to strategy, i think we have political and bureaucratic problems. and it's one reason i favor these cross functional teams. i think they can put the strategy together and have a better chance of implementing it in a cohesive and unified way. >> thank you. >> senator cain. >> thank you, mr. chair. i appreciate senator fischer bringing up the weinberg doctrine and general schwartz, talking about the authorization. there are many reasons why an authorization is really important. one is just the legal requirements of article 1, article 2. the second is the sign of
resolve that you show to adversaries, allies, and especially your troops. the third is sort of the one the weinberger doctrine gets at which is it helps you clash out at the beginning what is the mission and goal. so traditionally the president would present an authorization. then congress usually doesn't accept it verbatim after the attack on 9/11. congress rejected the earlier version and batted it around and came up with something different. the war with isil is one we started in 2014. to protect the yazidis and american consulate. now we have to go on offense. but we didn't have the discussion. we didn't have the administration's presentation of the rationale and then the withering cross examination it deserves. i thought not sending to congress for essentially six months after the beginning of the war and now it's been ten
months since the president sent an authorization, we still really haven't had the discussion that you ought to have at the front and if you're going to ask people to risk their lives. i think the weinberger doctrine is a good way to look at it. a couple questions just to clarify. admiral straridis, how does that look? there's a force, a command. is there a cyber academy? most of us have just done our service academy nominations. talk to us about what that would look like. >> i can. i think it's small. it's probably numbered in thousands of members. i think what you have today is each of the service academies is building inside itself a small cyber academy. this is kind of the inefficiency of it that i think we need to overcome. so yes i think there would be an educational pipeline. i think there'd be a career path. i think you'd have to get away
from some of the, if you will, traditional go to boot camp, shave your head, crawl your way up a hierarchy of an organization. i don't think that's going to attract the people we need in a cyber force. so i think it has somewhat different pay benefits back to senator mancini's question a moment ago about are we paying people the right amount. so this might be highly paid. i think probably the closest analog to what we have is special forces. and that's roughly what it would look like. i do believe it's time we get after this because i think our vulnerabilities are significant in this area. >> second question to another idea you had, i thought it was intriguing the idea of an ambassadorial level. i gather there's sort of an unstated assumption that's about the nature of the american
military mission now those that want us to send throughout a ka to train their militaries. i mean, so much of it is kind of on the border between diplomacy and military or working out with the japanese, the okinawa situation. that's a diplomatic as much as it's military. is that sort of your thinking behind the recommendation? >> it is. the structure as it was in effect when i was at southern command and while i was at u.s. european command, i had a military deputy. i think you need to continue to have a military deputy for the combat operations. but we also had instead of a political adviser from state department, we had a civilian deputy and he or she was capable of doing that kind of engagement, diplomatic work, working with host nations. helped resolve innumerable
individual challenges in if you will the smart power side of the equation. it's low cost and it also is a strong signal to the inner agency about how we want to work together to address problems that i think is together. >> it sounds like a fletcher school dean idea. and then dr. lamb, one last question for you. the idea that you advocated in your opening testimony about having some primary responsibility for a regular war if it's small or large rather than everybody feeling like the irregular wars are sort of a lesser responsibility which means we're not really preparing for them. elaborate on that if you would. >> i think we have a parallel with regard to special operation forces in general. all the services before we combine them had special operation forces. they knew what they wanted to use them for, et cetera. but they weren't a priority for the services. and i think rightly so created
so-com. and we now have particularly for the high-value target missions. so the direct action, go there, go to a site, get what you need done and come back. we have unparalleled capabilities. and those have only improved over the last 10 or 15 years. but when it comes to working through the host nation forces, we're not quite as sharp. and there's a number of complex reasons for that which have been discussed by many individuals. but i think the committee needs to take that issue up with so-com. so-com leadership has repeatedly told congress they think the mission is more important and they intend to improve their indirect capabilities. whether or not that's happening i think is a matter of great importance. with regards to the marine corps, not every problem unfortunately, not every low end of the spectrum problem could be handled with a small personal soerp -- special operations team. so the question is who is really
responsible for being prepared for that mission. time and time again we go on these missions. whether it's on panama, somalia. we go on these missions not really prepared for them. learning on the job, seeing what the situation demands. not having the equipment secretary gates found. not only not having the equipment but not being able to generate it quickly in response even to urgent requests from forces in the field. i think we can do better than that. the marine court from my point of view would work well for a number of reasons. it has a history of greater involvement in these. it's already kind of a joint force with amphibious air land capabilities that are well integrated. so there's a lot of advantage there. i think we've come to a point where we can't afford all the duplication we have without some clarification of roles in the department. this is something that made sense to me. >> thank you. >> thank you, chairman.
convergence. it is the convergence of these drug routes which are extremely efficient with the possibility of using them to move terrorists or at the really dark end of the spectrum, weapons of mass destruction along with the narcotics. so when those drug route and those higher level threats converge, i think we are at great risk. what we should do about it is exactly what we're talking about here is think holistically about how you create a network to combat a network. this is a very sophisticated, private, public, if you will, collaboration with international abilities ranging from moving submarines with ten tons of cocaine to aircraft, et cetera, et cetera. so you need to bring the inner agency to bear. you need to bring special operations to bear. i think this also argues for
merging north com and south com. it creates one sphere through which these routes are coming at us. so there's a quick basket of ideas. >> i appreciate it. i don't know if anyone else wants to comment on that. thank you. i also wanted to give a -- not to pick on you today, admiral. but given your prior position as the commander of nato, this -- what we've seen recently with iran on october 10th, iran conducted a ballistic missile test, medium range missile. then also recently we've also learned they tested a missile on november 21st. and as i look at these missiles, clearly a violation of u.n. resolutions. also from what we understand, the report suggests that the missile tested last month has a range of approximately 1200 miles. so that would give iran a
capability, of course, of hitting eastern europe and places that we're concerned about in the nato context. so i've been asking and i asked is why aren't we responding to this? and what do you think our response should be? should there be some response? it strikes me as a very important issue because it's already in light of the jcpoa exists -- they're violating existing u.n. resolutions. and it seems to me if there isn't some response from us, that they're going to continue not only this does not bode well for the jcpoa but also to continue to develop icbm capability. as you know that could go further to hit the united states. >> as i've said often, senator, we ought to be concerned about iran's nuclear program. but it is a much bigger problem than that. iran views itself as an imperial
power dating back two and a half millennia. they currently are in control of five capitals in this region. the jcpoa i think is going to shower resources upon them. and so they are a highly dangerous opponent and will be going forward. so what should we do? first, we should hold iran to the commitments they have made in the jcpoa. if that means that agreement is broken and we therefore return to a sanctions regime, we need to face that. secondly, we need to use all of our clandestine, our intelligence capability to truly understand what's going on in iran. thirdly, we need to stand with our sunni allies in the region and of course with israel who are going to be the bull work against this kind of expansion. fourthly in europe as you know, we looked at the missile defense system.
we should continue to move in that direction. that's kind of a beginning. but i think iran will continue to be a geopolitical threat to the united states. >> thank you, all. >> thank you, senator. on behalf of senator mccain, senator sheen. >> thank you both very much for your service and for being here today. dr. lamb, you talk about flattening the structure of military to set up special teams that have -- opposed to what often inner agency groups bring to task. it seems to me that i really like that idea. i think that's -- that one of the things if we look at the private sector, one of the things they've figured out is that the top/down approach is
not as good for decision making for what they're trying to accomplish as a team approach. hi i guess i ought to ask both schwartz and stavridis of what you think the challenges are from trying to move from what has been a streeej kal structur to the ones to address what we're facing. general schwartz, do you want to start? >> sure. i don't know if the committee has had stan crystal before you, but here's an example maybe the best recent example of how the team approach produces extraordinary results with his organization and he's written two books and what have you. but the bottom line is that chris lamb's model does work. there's evidence of that.
and there is a new generation of military leadership that gets it, i think. and we should support that, encourage it. and through your oversight, mandate it. >> admiral stavridis. >> core question going forward. and what mitigates against it, what makes it difficult and you know this is the built-in structure of the military. this is an organization where a million people get up in the morning and put on the same outfit. i mean, this is why we call it uniforms. and you've got to start cracking that mentality. we will, i think general schwartz is spot on because there is a generational shift. the question here is this is not an on and off switch between a highly chaotic, silicon valley-like entity and a military. it's a rheostat.
we need to gauge that rheostat towards strategic communication, all of those smart power things without losing our ability to deliver lethal combat power. i think we can do that. we need to think of it as a rheostat that's turning in the direction you identify. >> and dr. lamb, you talked about the coast guard having a different model. one of the things i remember after the bp oil spill when they were talking about the response so rescuing people -- no, i'm sorry. not the oil spill. hurricane katrina. was that the coast guard was very effective in responding. i think both there and on the bp oil spill. because they were able to make decisions can on the spot without having to check with anybody. so what's different about the coast guard model? and how do you transfer what's effective about that or should we be looking at transferring what's effective about that to
address some of the other challenges of building that teamwork capacity? >> well, when i was involved in the project national security reform, we spent some time looking at the coast guard model. the coast guard i think would say they're a leadership model and their training and education model is different than the other services. because of their nature, they're used to thinking about problems in a cross-functional way. they serve the department of defense on war and law enforcement and peacetime. so they have some natural advantages in that respect. >> so can you explain when you say their leadership model is different, their training is different. what's different that gives them that different ability to focus? admiral stavridis? >> they begin their lives at the coast guard academy with an appreciation of the fact that they're but one entity within in
the department of homeland security which has 19 different entities within it. they know they straddle that line of which they participated heroically many, many times as well as rescue at sea and environmental. so their mission, their ethos, mentality is simply one of cooperation, working together. it's hard to find a better integrated organization than the coast guard. i think we could learn a lot from that. >> and they have much greater experience with state and local leadership than typically do the act iduty forces. >> thank you all very much. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen, for being here today. your decades of service to our
country. wanted to focus a little bit, admiral, on your recommendation perhaps with regard to north com and south com merging with a bit of a focus on the arctic. general schwartz, i know you've spent a lot of time in alaska, so have a sense that we've had a lot of discussions here. senator king and i and the others are interested very much in what's going on in the arctic. this ndna, there's a requirement for the secretary of defense to put together an arctic operations plan for the first time which we think is progress. but just given your background, actually any of the panelists, one of the many challenges we have up there is when you look at the arctic, it's at the classic seams of different combatant commands where its
forces are op com to pay com and its threat is primarily in u com. so i'm sure you've all noticed the massive russian buildup actually just yesterday there was another article about a new missile defense system that they're putting in the arctic. four new combat brigades. 11 new airfields on and on. huge exercises. and we're looking at actually getting rid of the only airborne bct in the arctic. general schwartz, that takes a lot of training to have your forces up there well trained to be able to operate in 30 below zero. so i would just really appreciate your views on the arctic but also how that north com, south com merger idea would either enhance or diminish. we don't think it should be much more diminished. we think there should be more attention on the arctic given all that's going on up there
right now. any panelist, i'd welcome your thoughts on it. >> i think it's important that the arctic be assigned as a mission to one of the combatant commands. that has yet to happen. it should transpire. that's point one. point two is a more pedestrian concern, but we only have one operating icebreaker, senator sullivan. this is unthinkable for the united states of america. and clearly that coast guard platform, we need more of that. and we need the other kinds of wherewithal that allows us to assert or sovereignty. >> we have one and the russians have 40, i believe. >> understood, sir. >> yeah. you're absolutely correct. russia has 38 plus 2 ice breakers. the chinese who are not an arctic power to say the least
have 16 ice breakers, et cetera. the danes, a nation of 5 million have eight ice breakers. so this is actually beyond a pedestrian point. it's a very good one. i agree with assigning it to the command in its entirety. i think it would not be diminished by the merger between north com and south com. when you look at the level of activity to the south and what north com is doing, i think that could easily be folded into a unified command responsibility. and i think it would be valuable because it would further solidify our integration with canada. with whom we ought to be partnering in a significant way as you know better than anybody in the north. lastly we should be working with nato to ensure that nato perceives this is a nato fronti frontier. this is a nato border.
canada and the states are nato nations. we need to think of that border as we do of the borders in eastern europe and to the south on the mediterranean. >> general schwartz, could you talk to just the strategic location of the forces up there? admiral, when you talk about having it completely with regard to unified under north com, do you think that the operational forces should also be under north com given that they're very oriented towards the asia pacific and as general schwartz and i know you know, sir, the strategic location of alaska is such that those forces -- those air forces and army forces can be anywhere in the northern hemisphere within seven to eight hours whether it's korea or the battlics. would you mind just talking to that? >> quickly, if the constraint to
the domestic can be overcome, that makes sense. to assign those assets in alaska that have the opportunity both to reinforce america's claims in the arctic as well as be deployable for other missions that might be assigned is certainly the right approach. >> i would only add we talk a lot about the unified command plan which kind of divides the world among the combatant commanders. the other important document is called the forces four document which a actually o portion assigns those forces. it's renegotiated typically every two years. i think as general schwartz indicates, that would be a very important new way to think about force eassignment. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. a couple of quick points. amen on the ice breakers. it's preposterous that we don't have more significant icebreaker
capacity. particularly given what's happening in the arctic in terms of the opening up of the ice. secondly, would all of you agree it would be advantageous to the sea treaty? >> because i'm an admiral, i get to go first. >> yes. >> yes. >> thank you. do you agree? >> airmen agree with that. >> and you? >> agnostic, sir. >> agnostic on the treaty? all right. two to one. we'll take those odds. >> could i ask why agnostic? >> i really haven't studied it at length, but i'm concerned about our willingness to protect freedom of navigation around the world and the way other nations are interpreting their areas and control over them. i'm not clear of the impact of the sea treaty on those kind of issues. >> my concern is that other nations are going through that process making claims and we're
standing on the sidelines. your gestures won't show up in the record. could you -- >> i agree with your assessment. we're much better inside that treaty instead of outside it in terms of our rights. we could have a long hearing on the law of the sea and i'm sure such has been done. but call me back up on that one any time. >> thank you. i want to associate myself on the comments of the ballistic missile test. it's hard to determine exactly what they're doing. some think they're trying to torpedo the agreement. on the other hand it seems it would be dangerous for us to establish the precedent of blinking at violations. i'm a great believer that implementation is as important as vision. i voted for the jcpoa. but it was based upon an understanding and expectation that it would be scrupulously
enforced. and i think this is a -- could be interpreted as an early test of our resolve. and general i take it you agree. >> i certainly do. and if it's a violation of u.n. resolutions, we should call that out without hesitation. >> thank you. >> i agree with general schwartz. i agree with your comment as well. i have been hopeful of this agreement, but i am increasingly skeptical that it will be the right step for u.s. national security. this certainly gives weight to the negative side of that equation. >> thank you. dr. lamb, in your prepared remarks you talked about how we need to be thinking about unconventional warfare and suggested several areas. one i want to emphasize is you talk about persuasive communication. one is military, the other is ideas. and we are badly losing the war of ideas.
and it strikes me that that's a huge gap in our national strategy. i know we're doing some things but my sense is it doesn't have the priority that it should. would you agree with that? >> yes, i absolutely would. i think there's two issues here. one's substantive and one's organizational. organized to treat the issues to communications. our public affairs, public diplomacy and what used to be called -- >> and usia was abolished years ago. >> yes. we don't have a dedicated organization to deal with this anymore. we're confused about the difference between these different -- the americans are very sensitive about government control or use of information. and we're losing this game. i would actually concur. on the substantive front, we're having political problems with deciding the best way to deal
with the issue as general dempsey once said with the fact that some terrorists happen to also be muslim. and islamic. and we haven't -- we want to emphasize that the islamic religion is peaceful and tolerant and so on and so forth, but we do have this strain within that religion that sees the world differently. and our ability to deal with that in a forthright way has really been handicapped. i'm surprise bid td by the numb senior lead who are have said in their memoirs from their tours of duty during the past 15 years that this is an achilles heel for us and we still haven't effectively identified the enemy we're up against and how best to deal with that. how to turn that issue back into something that the islamic world debates itself about what it's going to do about this strain within it.
so i think substantively we are on our heels. >> and ultimately that's where this battle will be won or lost in my view. because there are now pick a number, 100,000, 200,000 jihadists. there are 1.6 billion muslims. that's the battlefield. and it can only be won within the muslim community, but we have to lead it, it seems to me. or we at least need to work with the worldwide non-jihadist muslim community. >> i just would close by saying we need to give voice to those who have escaped isil occupied areas. >> seems to be natural. >> yes. >> just one last, if i could. it is a battlefield but it's also a marketplace. and we have to compete. we have to recognize that.
that's an important aspect of how we communicate. we're pretty good at dominating markets. we should bring some of those skills to bear. >> it's ironic in the extreme we're the people that invented facebook and twitter and all of those things and we're losing on that front. thank you, gentlemen. i have a lot of other questions about the organization, but we'll get to those later. thank you. >> if you'd like to ask an additional question -- >> well, one additional question on -- maybe this is for the record. you're talking about -- we're talking about combining several of the combatant commands. are there any savings to be had? and if so we'd like to quantify them. because in fy-17 we're going to face about a $15 billion shortfall from where we would like to be. and that's real money. and we're going to have to find some places where it can be saved and staffed, personnel, non-combatant kind of areas. so perhaps you have an immediate
response or for the record. >> go ahead. >> in a business world we call those synergies. i can't offer a number, but certainly there are those in the department who could answer that question for you. and would recommend you press for that. >> yes, there are savings. i would recommend not only pressing the department but getting somebody on the outside to take a good look at that. >> thank you very much, appreciate your testimony. >> i appreciate the comments about the hearts and minds. but first you got to kill them. and as long as the perception is out there that they're winning, they will also win in other areas as well. and i believe that one of the reasons why these young men are most attracted is they think they're joining a winning cause.
and events such as at san bernardino and paris are one of the greatest recruitment tools they have. and until we beat them on the battlefield, i think that our messaging efforts will be severely hindered. but i also agree that it's just going to be a long fight on using the most advanced technologies. and i'd also point out that we still have a big problem with the ability now of isis to be contacted and direct a young man or young woman to a secure site. that's just not right. that's not right. and i see heads nodding and as senator king mentioned that is not recorded. so maybe i -- >> i agree with the chairman on both fronts. thank you. >> admiral?
>> i agree completely. and i think that this also gets into the cyber piece of this. there are ways that we can track, control, eradicate in the cyber world. i also particularly agree the leading edge of this has to be hard power. in the long-term it's a mix of hard power, smart power. but at the moment dealing with the forces that are against us from the islamic state, we have to go hard. now. >> doctor, did you have any comment? >> for myself i think this is just a good example of what i was referring to on the indirect approach in special operations. military information support forces and so-com. if you look at how they're trained and equipped there, it's not to the same other aspects of so-com. i think there's room for improvement there.
>> well, i thank you. and doctor as a graduate of the institution of which you are presently employed when it had the correct name, i want to thank you for your continued good work. and i thank admiral and general for your many years of service. this will probably be the conclusion of a series of hearings that we're having as we try to address this whole issue of reform, ability to get into the challenge -- to meet the challenges of the 21st century. i believe that goldwater nichols could never have come from within the pentagon. i think everybody agrees with that. and we intend on a bipartisan basis to work with the pentagon and secretary carter as we possibly can. but i think it's pretty well
known that we have to lead. and it's not to the exclusion of the pentagon, but it certainly is a responsibility that i think that we have and i'm proud of the modest measures that we've taken in this year's. but i think next year is really where we can really make a significant impact. and the series of hearings that we're now concluding with i think gives us an excellent basis for the kinds of reforms that need to be made. it is just disappointing to our constituents when i go back to arizona and somebody asks me about a $2 billion cost overrun of one weapons system. it's hard to defend. hard to justify.
then when we see the combat capabilities go down and yet the staff and support going up and we have still not -- we're still unable to conduct an audit successfully of the department of defense and no one can tell this committee who the -- how many contract personnel are employed, pretty large task ahead of us. but if we pursue the principles you recommended to us today, some of those other aspects of this challenge will follow. so you've been very helpful and admiral, i want -- i asked the panel yesterday if you all would prepare notes of condolences to be delivered to senator reed on saturday afternoon. it would be much appreciated.
dingell who will talk about the federal budget and discuss domestic terrorism. then we'll get congressman leonard lance's opinion on the budget and also talk about the fight against isis and the 2016 presidential race. you can join the conversation by phone, facebook, and twitter. next week is authors week on "the washington journal" with a featured non-fiction author in a one-hour conversation with you. starting on the 21st at 9:00 a.m. eastern, jeff smith on "mr. smith goes to prison." what my year behind bars taught me about america's prison crisis. tuesday, december 22nd at 8:30 a.m., constitutional attorney john whitehead on his book
"battlefield america: the war on the american people." on wednesday, december 23rd at 8:30 a.m. talking about the book "how the other half banks: exclusion, exploitation, and threat to democracy." on thursday december 24th matthew green joins us to talk about "underdog politics." and friday, december 25th also at 8:30, author, historian, and lecturer craig shirley discusses his book "last act: the final years of ronald reagan." be sure to watch washington journal during authors week starting december 21st. c-span presents landmark cases the book. a guide to our landmark cases
series which explores 12 historic supreme court court decisions including marbury versus madison, brown versus the board of education, miranda versus arizona, and roe versus wade. landmark cases the book features introductions, background, highlights, and the impact of each case. written by veteran supreme court journalist tony morrow and pub established by c-span. landmark cases is available for $8.95 plus shipping. get your copy today at c-span.org/landmarkcases. house homeland security committee chair congressman michael mccaul talks about the state of homeland security. he spoke last week at the national defense university here in washington, d.c.
>> good afternoon and welcome. it's wonderful to be back at the national war college. it's such a prized institution and important part of our nation's history. it's a privilege to join you today to introduce the chairman of the homeland security committee chairman michael mccaul. chairman mccaul son of a world war ii veteran is currently serving his sixth term representing texas' tenth district which covers from austin to houston. in january he'll enter his fourth year as the chairman of the house homeland security committee. this committee has oversight of the department of homeland security ensuring it's able to carry out its core mission of protecting the american people from terrorist attack. he also serves on the committee of foreign affairs working to our national security abroad. under the chairman's leadership, the committee has made quite the mark during the 114th congress. this year the committee has passed 55 bills, 25 of which came from freshman members.
40 bills have passed the house, almost half from freshmen. and seven bills have become law. all told, it accounts for 10% of public law this year. this is the result of the leadership and teamwork of chairman mccaul and his committee. he also established a bipartisan congressional task force on combatting terrorists and foreign fighter travel. the findings of which have helped bring improvements to our national security and those of our allies. congressman mccaul is also the cofounder and cochair of the congressional high-tech kau tca and cyber security caucus. they have led the way of policies between government and industry as we face the problem of our adversaries. he is responsible for creating the hope act which was signed by the president and became law in october of 2012. creating incentives for pharmaceutical companies. chairman mccaul cochairs the childhood cancer kau kiss which he founded shortly after he was
elected to congress. chairman mccaul is well versed in terror operations. he served as the chief of counterterrorism and national security in the u.s. attorney's office for the western district of texas. he also led the joint terrorism task force charged with preventing terrorist activity. he's also served as the texas deputy general and in the department of justice's integrity section in washington, d.c. chairman mccaul earned his business and history majors from trinity university. and he holds a j.d. from st. mary's university school of law. he has s also a graduate of the senior executive fellows program at harvard university. chairman and mrs. linda mccaul are proud parents of five teenagers including triplets. thank you again for joining us today. ladies and gentlemen, chairman michael mccaul. [ applause ] >> thank you, andrea.
thank you, colonel thompson. i want to thank you for your service to the committee and to our country. and you serve me well. and i want to thank you for that. thank you for mentioning my five teenagers at home. we -- mrs. mccaul and i have some domestic terrorism issues of our own. i want to thank a few people here today. i don't have the list in front of me. but i know we have former attorney general ed meese here today. i want to thank you for your service and being here. [ applause ] as he was leaving the justice department, i was actually coming in as a young prosecutor and you served us well. thanks for being here. i want to recognize john catco from my committee who chaired the foreign fighter task force. did great work. nick palrino who served with distinction in vietnam and served me and my committee very well over the years. and there are others. i want to thank the national
defense university for hosting us. and the national war college. i can't think of a better place to give these remarks. they're sobering and it's a state of the homeland security. i picked this day for several reasons. it's the anniversary of pearl harbor. and my father was a world war ii veteran serving in the european theater as a bomber on a b-17 as was part of the air campaign for the d-day invasion. 74 years ago today japanese forces struck the united states naval base at pearl harbor described by president roechlt as a day that will live in infamy. that gave rise to the greatest generation and inspired young americans like my father to serve our country in uniform. the long struggle between the forces of freedom and oppression
followed. punctuated by many pivotal years. today we're engaged in another generational struggle. and this year was a turning point. just last week terror struck again on american soil atatackig our nation from within and in the name of isis the new standard bearer of evil. make no mistake, we are a nation at war. 14 years after 9/11, the fight against islamist terror rages on. and our adversaries have opened up new battle grounds across the world. our own city streets are now the front lines. indeed san bernardino was not an isolated event. terrorists are on the offensive working to deploy operatives to our shores and radicalize our citizens to commit acts of violence. so i was disappointed last night when the president failed to lay out any new steps to fight this threat.
instead he doubled down on a strategy of hesitancy and half measures. this should not just be a wakeup call, it should be a call to action. for far too long, we have allowed ek treemists to reclaim their momentum surging from the full fledged terrorist armies. as a result, i believe the state of our homeland is not secured. and i believe 2015 will be seen as a watershed year in this long war. the year when our enemies gained an upper hand and when the spread of terror walks the west. this september, my committee held the first ever congressional hearing about the 9/11 memorial at ground zero. it sits on hallowed ground. consecrated by the loss of thousand of innocent americans and by the sacrifice of those who worked to save their lives. and in their honor, we vow to
never forget. never forget that day. but we are beginning to repeat the mistakes of the past. we are not acting early enough to keep the terrorist groups from spreading and there are some in washington who are in denial about the threat that we face. in 2013, president obama anountsed the global war on terror was over. al baghdadi announced the formation of isis n. january 2014, only days after isis invaded falluja, the president dismissed the group as a jv team of terror. that same month, his own secretary of homeland security, a man i deeply respect, agreed with me that the jihadists in syria were becoming the largest, most significant threat to the homeland. and earlier this year, in a state of the union address, the
president touted his drawdown of american forces overseas and declared quote, the shadow of crisis has passed. only a month later, the director of national intelligence announced that the previous year had been the deadliest in the history of global terrorism. indeed, the president's words came only weeks after the shocking charlie hebdo attacks in paris. and when i cently met with french counterterrorism officials overseas, i assure you, they did not think the shadow of crisis has passed or that the global war on terror was over. last month, the president claimed isis was contained. only days before its operatives launched the deadliest attack on french soil since world war ii. and last week, the president said america was safe from isis and safe from an isis attack.
the same morning, the san bernardino terrorists conducted their massacre. i've had enough. we cannot be blind to the threat before us. isis is not contained. it is expanding at great cost to the free world. in november, the group managed to conduct three major terrorist attacks on three separate continents in just three weeks. this is not a terrorist group on the run. it is a terrorist group on the march. and their ability to conduct external operations is growing. isis has been linked to more than 60 terror plots or attacks against western targets. it has established a presence in is the countries and it has recruited operatives from more than 100 nation, creating the largest global convergence of
jihadists in world history. isis is now more dangerous than al qaeda ever was under osama bin laden. and its tentacles have spread into the west includes into the united states. yet the president's national security strategy released this year outlines a doctrine of strategic patience for confronting threats. this is reckless. america cannot adopt a wait and see approach while the world burns and while terrorists plot within our borders. we are called upon to lead. it was president reagan who said that weakness invites aggression. and it was president kennedy before him that declared america would pay any price, bear any burden to secure our free society. but today, our allies believe we are uncertain, reluctant to lead and eager to place the burdens on someone es.
this kind of indecision is a edition itself. if the greatest generation had sat on its hands while fascism and communism spread, the world would not be recognizable today. in the same way, if we let islamist terrorism gain further ground, we will be talking about a struggle that lasts more than just a generation. from the streets paris to the skies of egypt, we have been reminded of the destructive powe of this movement and the insidious ideology that fuels it. we have also been reminded that delay can be deadly. when we see terror in more western cities, when isis declares new provinces, when millions of additional refugees flood the shores of our allies, it will be further proof that in action has serious consequences.
in fact, i believe this leadership void has put the united states homeland in the highest threat environment since 9/11. the fbi is investigating nearly 1,000 home grown terror cases. most of which are isis related across all 50 states. already, federal authorities have arrested over 70 isis supporters from our country. that's more than one per week over the last year. and if you add san bernardino to the list, there have been now been 19 isis connected terror plots or attacks here at home. these include plans to murder tourists on florida beaches, to set off pipe bombs on capitol hill, to detonate explosives at new york city landmarks and to live stream an attack at an american college campus. the overall uptick in extremist activity has made 2015 is single
most active year nor home yofor terror we have ever seen. in fact, there were more home grown terror cases the first six months of 2015 than any full year since 9/11. our intelligence and law enforcement professionals have stopped many attacks. however, in a world where terror has gown rye vie cal, we are struggling to monitor every threat. and as we saw in garland, texas, the first sign of a hatched plot might be an internet hash tag tweeted obl minutes before an i tacattack. as we saw in san bernardino, it might be a facebook status pledging allegiance to terrorists, posted online with little notice. or it might be like the chattanooga terrorist ram percenta page where the shooter gave no hints before taking the lives of the united states service members. this is why we need to focus on
preventing radicalization as much we need to focus on stopping terrorists themselves. the message of groups like isis is either come to syria to join the fight or kill where you are. yet, the administration is not doing enough to keep americans from being brainwashed by groups like isis. there is too little outreach to vulnerable communities. there's virtually no effort here at home to combat terrorist propaganda directed at our citizens and there are few credible off ramps to peel radicalized young people away from the path to terrorist violence. this is unacceptable. americans are being recruited by terrorist groups at the speed of broadband while we are responding at the speed of bureaucracy. our committee unanimously approved bipartisan legislation
to accelerate prevention efforts in the homeland. in the wake of the shooting in california, i'm working to get this bill quickly passed. we also need to do everything we can to block terrorist pathways into our country and to keep americans away from terrorist safe havens. that is why this year, i've launched a bipartisan congressional task force on combatting terrorists and foreign fighter travel. in their final report, the task force concluded that the united states government has largely failed to stop americans from going overseas to join extremists. and the identified gaping security weaknesses which allow terrorists to cross borders undetected. more than 30,000 individuals from around the world have become foreign fighters in syria. and over 5,000 of them have western passports, which make it
easier to get into the united states. and as we saw in paris, some are being sent back to conduct attacks. more than 250 americans have sought to join the fight. and close to 50 have come home. some have been arrested on terrorism charges. while others could be ticking time bombs. we must do more urgently to shut down the jihadist superhighway to and from the conflict zone. it is just simply too easy to get there. one american, you fought on the front lines said, quote, i just went online and bought a ticket. it was that easy. it was like booking a flight to miami beach. also disturbingly easy to get back. the master mind of the paris attacks bragged in isis' online magazine saying quote, i was able to leave and come despite being chased after so many intelligence services.